Genre: M/M Historical Romance, BDSM
Length: 125 pages
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by StaceyR
An adventurous tale of swashbuckling pirates caught up in a fascinatingly complex, passionate and deadly love triangle.
Under a steamy Barbados sun, Nathaniel makes an impulse purchase that will change the course of his entire life as a privateer. Pierced to the core by the sad blue eyes of the young man on the auction block, he buys Adlai, thinking to erase the slave’s sorrow and protect him from a less-pleasant fate in the fields or brothels.
At first, Adlai dares not trust the pirate who now owns his body, but time and proximity, need and care, change Adlai’s suspicions to respect—and Nathaniel’s respect to love. Together, they brave all the sea can throw at them, including Nathaniel’s former captain and rival, Thomas Harrison.
Harrison will stop at nothing to have Nathaniel and his ship back. And Adlai, Nathaniel’s most prized treasure, becomes one more weapon in their ongoing war.
Publisher’s Note: The high seas are a place of danger and intrigue, and some images may be disturbing. This story was previously published elsewhere under the title Kestrel on the Horizon, and has been revised for Ellora’s Cave.
A high-action adventure loaded with vibrant, complex characters, Privateer’s Treasure gives as stark glimpse into the harsh lives of pirating privateers. Rival captains and ex-lovers are on a collision course with disaster, carving a fine line between love and hatred as they compete for trade, booty, and the passions of their new lovers.
Captain Nathaniel Collins has gone ashore to procure supplies for his ship when he’s captivated by the sad, blue eyes of a black man being auctioned off at the slave market. When he spies his nemesis Captain Harrison at the auction, Collins spends a small fortune to buy the young handsome slave. Back aboard his ship he shocks his new slave Adlai by telling him he’ll be treated as a crewman and extends to him a standard contract of service; after seven years of servitude, Adlai will have earned his freedom. Collin’s doesn’t hide his attraction to his new apprentice but having served his seven years on Captain Harrison’s ship, and in Harrison’s bed, some of the time by force, Collins refuses to force Adlai into bed. Instead, he hopes he can win over his future lover by learning the secrets behind his sadness and finding a way to make him happy.
Adlai is slow to trust his new Master Captain, but Collins’ gentle guidance as Adlai settles into his new life at sea soon earns his respect. Schooled and cultured by his white father, Adlai takes over the logs and books for Collins and starts to open up about his loss and some of the devastation he suffered when his father died unexpectedly. Fascinated by his gentle servant, Collins’ dreams of the future begin to merge with Adlai’s. Despite the tender emotions developing between them while in Captain’s quarters, life at sea is violent and Collins’ crew of cutthroats demands the random pillaging of foreign vessels, an abrasive reality for Adlai who’s a gentleman at heart. After watching some cannibals kill a merchant and cart him off Collins doesn’t do much more than shrug, but tries to placate Adlai, and ends with one of my favorite lines in the book:
“This life changes men. Some become decent, some become savages. And worst of all are the savages who look decent.”
An ominous description that holds true for most the characters in the book.
Captain Harrison and his delightfully wicked boy Samir are villains you love to hate…and hate to love. They come off as a perfect match for each other, a rough rogue and his conniving imp. Both have endured harsh lives, yet their passion for life and each other is fast and fierce. While Harrison is fully entertained by his energetic boy, he’s never gotten over the betrayal of his beloved Nathaniel’s desertion. He can’t understand why his sensual, willing Samir doesn’t inspire the titillating rough play he enjoyed with Nathaniel. He hasn’t stopped plotting ways to concur Nathaniel’s ship and bring him back under his control.
There’s such a sharp and intriguing contrast between Nathaniel and Aldai’s slow-burning tender love story and the hot and heavy yet poignant love between Harrison and Samir —and also the violent and equally passionate relationship that continues to bind Nathaniel and Harrison.
Nathaniel does all he can to avoid Harrison, but trade routes lead to an inevitable confrontation. Samir’s suggestion of making earrings out of Adlai’s pretty blue eyes ends in a sword fight between captains and both sustain injuries that fuel their transgressions toward each other. Harrison trails Nathaniel across the sea, spiraling into darker waters—and a wholly unpleasant abduction and abuse of sweet Adlai, and ultimately a standoff that threatens to destroy them all.
If you’re in the mood for a dark yet touching and wildly emotional read, I recommend Privateer’s Treasure.